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5 Intellectual Property Tips for Online Businesses

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Every small business needs to know how to protect its intellectual property. From product patents to trademarking logos to copywritten written materials, making sure other businesses don't steal your ideas is essential setting your products and services apart and ensuring your value.

These efforts can be especially important, and complicated, when it comes to online businesses, where everything you make, sell, and say is immediately available worldwide. So if you're running an online business, here are five tips to protecting your intellectual property.

1. How to Trademark a Logo for Your Small Business

No matter what you do, you've got a name for your online business and a logo so that customers and clients can immediately recognize your work. And while you're not legally required to register a trademark in order to gain some legal protections, registration can mean you're not using someone else's logo and make sure other businesses don't use yours.

Whether you copyright your website's original content will generally depend on the kind of content you're publishing online. Listing standard information like hours of operation and contact info, might need less copyright protection than creations from an artist, blogger, journalist, or software engineer. The more original your ideas and content -- the more central they are to your brand or business -- the more you need copyright protection.

3. Startups Face Increasing Threat From Patent Trolls

Patent trolls have been a persistent problem for businesses large and small, and their coming for startups and online businesses as well. Find out how to protect yourself and your business.

Everyone's got a podcast these days -- they can be a great way to promote your business, or be a business in and of themselves. Either way, there are going to be some IP issues to sort out before you hit the online airwaves.

5. Checklist for Licensing Intellectual Property

When it comes to online intellectual property, there's protecting your own content and protecting yourself when using someone else's content. Make sure you're licensing intellectual property properly, lest you get sued.

And if you need legal advice for your online business, don't ask Reddit. Talk to an experienced intellectual property attorney.

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